image 1 of 1
Start your Italian getaway. View hotels.

The Perfect Getaway: A weeklong family vacation in Rome

Steeped in history and legend, Rome is at the top of every family’s bucket list. Discover the best things to do in Rome to keep the whole family engaged. | By Tanvi Chheda | March 10, 2023

It’s always a good time for a family adventure in Italy. Head to Rome and let your brood toss coins over their shoulders at the Trevi Fountain and chase pigeons through lively squares. Bribes of endless pizza and gelato work well to keep them walking. Explore some of the best things to do in Rome for your next epic family vacation.

  • Duel it out: Train to be a gladiator in a two-hour class at the Colosseum, complete with costumes and (fake) swords

  • City by night: See iconic sights illuminated on an evening golf cart tour through Rome

  • Cooking class: Make (and eat!) pizzas with your foodie crew

The iconic sights of Rome — from the Pantheon and the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s Basilica and the Villa Borghese gardens — are a lot of ground to cover, even for adults. Not to mention the atmospheric neighborhoods, piazzas and markets. When visiting Rome with kids, good planning is imperative, balancing guided tours and museums with unstructured time outdoors and interactive experiences for fewer tears and tantrums.

Get things off on the right foot by choosing a central base that gives your family easy access to the city so you’re not using up energy just getting places. DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti is steps away from the Colosseum and other must-see sights. Best of all, the centrally located hotel offers convenient connecting rooms for ample space to spread out while still staying together.



Start early to explore the Colosseum with fresh eyes. The famous four-story amphitheater, begun by Roman emperor Vespasian in 70 CE and completed by his son, Titus, is one of the most intact structures from ancient Rome and could hold 50,000 spectators. Add-on gladiator school for the kids for an interactive experience at the Colosseum they won’t forget. (Tip: Skip the lines by preordering tickets online.)


Pop into a nearby restaurant to fuel your crew with pizza and pasta before tackling the next sight, the Roman Forum, the epicenter of ancient Rome. Hire a guide to take your family back in time as you walk and imagine open-air markets, political meetings and religious ceremonies taking place in the many temples. From here, walk three minutes southwest to your next place to visit in Rome: Palatine Hill.

Palatine Hill

One of Rome’s seven hills, Palatine Hill is an important archeological site as well as central to the legend of Rome’s founding. It was believed the cave where a she-wolf raised twin brothers Romulus and Remus is on the slopes of this hill. As the first place wealthy Romans likely lived, the hill also showcases important ruins, including the House of Augustus, the first emperor of Rome, and the House of Livia, his wife, as well as the imperial palace of Emperor Domitian. Another reason alone to visit the hill is the panoramic views of the Roman Forum.


After a day of sightseeing, keep your evening schedule light and playful with a visit to the baroque-style Trevi Fountain. Legend has it that those who toss coins (using their right hand over their left shoulder) into the fountain will someday return to Rome.



Marvel at Roman architecture at the Pantheon, a nearly 2,000-year-old temple for Roman gods that was rebuilt by emperor Hadrian after the structure suffered fire damage. A lover of ancient Greece, Hadrian’s Pantheon features several Greek design cues such as columns at the entrance and a massive domed rotunda with an oculus.


Time to hit the market! Visit lively Campo de’ Fiori square with its bakeries, cafes and bustling flower, vegetable and fruit stalls. It has all the perfect provisions for an informal picnic lunch! After you dine, stroll through the city’s Trastevere neighborhood to discover some of Rome’s hidden gems.

Trastevere Neighborhood

Formerly a working-class district on the left bank of the Tiber river, Trastevere has evolved into a charming, bohemian neighborhood. Ivy-draped buildings and medieval churches share sidewalk space with edgy restaurants and wine bars. Two of the area’s main squares, Piazza di Santa Maria and Piazza Trilussa, are ideal for people watching and lingering over an espresso or lemonade. A largely car-free zone, Trastevere is great for strolling with kiddos (though strollers are not ideal on the cobblestoned streets). Families may also enjoy the mosaic art classes that are available at artisan workshops around the neighborhood.


Sit back and see the city sights illuminated on a golf cart tour, which stops for prosecco (after all, even grown-ups need snack time!) and nibbles (for everyone) along the way. Customize the tour to be as long or short as works for your group.



Visiting the Vatican and seeing Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel is one of the highlights on a family trip to Rome. Let a veteran guide keep the kids engaged so you can also enjoy the incredible tapestries and frescoes.

Best of all, if you go the tour guide route, you'll have access to a corridor that goes directly from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter's Basilica, the next stop on your Roman adventure.

St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica is a Renaissance-style church built in the 16th century that holds the shrine of St. Peter the apostle below the altar. Beyond its religious significance, the basilica is a stunning marvel and affords magnificent views of the city from its dome (tickets required), which was designed by Michelangelo.


All that sightseeing is bound to work up an appetite. Gather round a table at Vivi Bistrot, near Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s prettiest squares. The cozy, organic eatery features an international menu with salads, curries, burgers and more. Afterward, explore Piazza Navona with a gelato in hand.


After a full day exploring the city, you’ll likely want to keep dinner casual and convenient. Opt for drinks and light bites at Mùn, DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti’s 8th-floor contemporary rooftop bar. View Rome from a unique perspective while feasting on light bites and tapas. Not to worry, your picky eaters will love the french fries and cherry-topped Shirley Temples.



Housed in the former Villa Borghese Pinciana, the Borghese Gallery, a world-class art museum, is known for its collection of paintings by masters such as Caravaggio, Canova and Raphael; sculptures by Bernini and antiquities. If the kids start to get restless, take them to the surrounding landscape gardens and park, which boast play areas, a petting zoo and even row boats.


Get those hands in some dough for an interactive experience with a pizza making class. Dozens of restaurants and home chefs offer private cooking classes. Best of all, you eat what you make! After eating your fill, it’s time to stretch those legs. Head for the Spanish Steps to kick-off an afternoon of outdoor excursions.

Spanish Steps

Completed in 1725, the rococo-style Spanish Steps are a brilliantly engineered, gentle ascent of stairs with terraces, connecting Piazza di Spagna at the base to Piazza Trinita dei Monti at the top. There’s also plenty of other sites to explore near the steps, which are in the old city center, so be sure to wear your walking shoes.


You could dedicate several days just to exploring all of Rome’s gelaterias. One of the best, Fatamorgana Monti, has an outpost near the Spanish Steps, so you can still have a cone of pistachio gelato even if you’re no longer allowed to sit on the steps and devour it. Finish your evening with local cicchetti (small bites) and a glass of Italian wine — it’s the perfect way to toast a fabulous family vacation.



Conclude your family trip to Rome with a day trip to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. A It’s a 2-3-hour drive each way from Rome, but well worth it to see this ancient city comprising former amphitheaters, villas, shops, bakeries and thermal baths.

Ancient ruins of Pompeii

The ancient Roman ruins found in Pompeii will mesmerize visitors of all ages. Take a step back in time and explore the excavated sites either with a guided tour or at your own pace. Pompeii is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that provides visitors with a rare glimpse into a former civilization’s daily life. As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy, Pompeii will leave a lasting impression.


Pompeii was swallowed whole by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE, which ironically, kept it well preserved until it was excavated in 1748. After spending your morning exploring, beat the afternoon sun by grabbing a leisurely lunch. Head to Bacco e Arianna Ristorante where you can enjoy pasta, sandwiches and salads from the comfort of the restaurant’s shaded courtyard.


After returning from a day of touring, head back to your home away from home for an early night — especially key when taking an early morning flight. Take in one final look over Rome from the hotel’s rooftop before settling into the comfort of your room.

With world-famous places to see and countless things to do (and eat) in Rome, your next family getaway in Italy will be educational, fun and full of delicious meals for all.

Tanvi Chheda is a travel writer and family travel expert based in Los Angeles. From taking her daughter to Peru at the age of 2 to visiting several U.S. National Parks with her family, she loves seeing new places through her kids' eyes and encourages other families to do the same. A former Travel + Leisure editor, Tanvi has written for The New York Times,, Robb Report, Virtuoso Life and Ciao Bambino, among others.

Find your stayFind your stay

DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti

Our hotel is in the Rome Monti neighborhood down the street from the Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore. The Colosseum and other main attractions are just steps away. If you care to venture further, we’re half a kilometer from the Roma Termini train station and metro station which will take you to explore Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel. Enjoy free WiFi and city views from our Skybar.

Learn moreLearn more about DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti